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The original item was published from 10/31/2023 12:05:00 PM to 11/1/2023 12:05:04 AM.

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City of Abilene - News & Events

Posted on: May 24, 2023

[ARCHIVED] Welcome home, Sparky & Leu!

Profile picture of one of two new bald eagles now living at the Abilene Zoo

The Abilene Zoo is thrilled to announce the arrival of two rescued bald eagles; 15-month-old Sparky, and 16-month-old Leu.


Sparky and Leu are adolescent eagles, approximately one year old; while they are fully grown, they won’t get their white heads until they are five to seven years old.   


The birds come to the Abilene Zoo after being rehabilitated at the Audubon Center for Birds of Prey in Maitland, Florida. Thanks to generous donors, a year-long proces to renovate part of the zoo’s Elm Creek exhibit into the birds’ permanent home is complete, and now serves as the Keith Garner Bald Eagle Habitat, named in memory of Abilene Zoological Society board member Keith Garner.

EagleWatch, an organization whose main objective is to watch nesting activity and current population trends of eagles in Florida, was actively monitoring Sparky’s and Leu’s nests when it was able to identify a need for assistance for the birds, and notify the Audubon Center for Birds of Prey. Both eagles were rescued at approximately two months of age, evaluated, and deemed non-releasable by US Fish & Wildlife Service due to their inability to fly.

“We are thrilled that after an extensive process of renovation and federal permitting we are bringing the first bald eagles to the Abilene Zoo,” said Abilene Zoo Director Jesse Pottebaum. “We thought the upcoming Memorial Day weekend was the perfect time to introduce these majestic birds to the  community, honoring those who have died in service to our country.” 

To learn more about the Zoo’s Bird Rehabilitation Center visit abilenezoo.org/birdrehab.

Pictured: 16 month-old Leu, one of the two new bald eagles at the Abilene Zoo 

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